June 9, 2017

Read it and find out . . .

At thirteen I started to read the Bible every day because my mother read the Bible every day. I thought that is what a woman was supposed to do even though the words made little sense to me for seventeen years. Knowing my tendency to get bored and be distracted, that persistence had to be a God-thing. He was training me to have daily devotions long before He saved me.

Timothy may have caught on much quicker than I did. His mother and grandmother were Christians and likely taught Scripture to him . . .

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:14–17)

In the first of these verses, ‘whom’ is plural, indicating that more than one teacher helped Timothy with his Bible reading. He learned early in life the power of God’s Word. I was pretty much on my own when I started reading and on my own when Jesus Christ revealed Himself to me. Since then, I learned along with Timothy and millions of others that God’s Word is profitable. It teaches, corrects, trains, and equips. Those who are diligent in the study AND application of it already know their eternal destiny and as they grow in grace, that knowledge is confirmed. As someone observed, those whose Bible is falling apart are not!

“Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have . . . . And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:10–21)

People say that the Bible is just an old book, written by men, outdated and useless. Those who read it disagree, even those who do not believe it. Someone in my family belongs to a cult. He once said to me that when he read the Bible every day, he noticed a change in his behavior. He admitted that he was no longer that diligent. I wondered why and later I found out that his cult demands many hours of reading their literature leaving their adherents little time for God’s Word. This is part of their way of controlling their minds. How sad!

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

The Bible has power to transform lives. A friend, who did not know the Lord, knew her father was dying. She decided to comfort him by reading the Psalms aloud to him and her mother. Over the course of a few weeks, all three of them became Christians. That ‘useless old book’ discerned their need for God and brought Him into their hearts. Their lives and their eternal destiny were changed forever.

John said that many Jesus did many things, “But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31)

Those who think otherwise have probable never read it. If they did, it likely was in skepticism and not with an open and hungry heart for God.

Jesus, You tell Bible readers: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” You have proven to me that You satisfy all the needs of my heart and soul. You take care of the concerns of this life, and You assure me of my eternal home with You. You do all this through the marvelous power of Your Holy Word, for which I am totally grateful!

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